Courtesy Eastern Bay Management Corp.

The mixed-use, four-story building at 460 Main St. in Stevensville, Md., is more than what it seems. Much more, it turns out. Just ask Kimberly and David Azar of Eastern Bay Management Corp.

The do-it-all team, who are owners, developers, general contractors, sales agents, and property managers, designed Chesapeake Village Center to be their signature project. “I want to leave a legacy we can be proud of and our family can count on for many years to come,” says David Azar. With so much riding on the outcome, the Azars considered the best construction options for their dream development.

“They were building an ICF basement on one of those DIY TV shows. I had never heard of ICF,” recalls David Azar. “I thought, ‘What the heck? If they can do that for a basement, why not a four-story building?’” Azar was on the case.

Insulated Concrete Form

Courtesy Eastern Bay Management Corp.

He learned ICFs—short for insulated concrete forms—are hollow, lightweight paneled blocks of sandwiched plastic foam. The hollow center is filled at the worksite with reinforced concrete, creating a remarkably resilient and energy-efficient wall. ICF is a mature, decades-old building process fully code-compliant with the International Code Council and Canadian Construction Materials Centre.

ICF addressed every concern Azar could think of, from labor requirements and weather resilience to acoustics and energy conservation. “ICF has caught on in tornado and hurricane areas because ICF construction can withstand winds up to 250 mph. But I know exposed concrete can absorb temperature changes and moisture. That means building a second wall,” the veteran builder observed. Unless, of course, it’s ICF.

Chesapeake Village Center, Start to Finish
Courtesy Eastern Bay Management Corp.

One-and-Done Savings
The dual foam facing creates a unique six-in-one wall assembly that serves as the building structure, furring, insulation, sound proofing, and vapor barrier. One-and-done wall assembly reduces labor requirements and speeds delivery. Even the local code inspector was impressed. Building permitting sailed through.

Chesapeake Village Center opened in summer 2018. The 21,000-square-foot structure includes six retail spaces and 17 apartments. The property is leased up, with several tenants re-signing for 18- and 24-month terms, a huge thumbs-up for the Azar family. Energy costs and acoustics also are property highlights:

  • Energy. “I own traditional, stick-built properties. A two-bedroom apartment there averages anywhere from $140 to $200 per month for electric. The highest monthly bill we’ve had in the new building for a two-bedroom is $78,” reports Azar. The building is already Emerald-certified by the National Green Building Standard, the highest designation.
  • Acoustics. Azar says loud neighbors from above, below, or next door is the No. 1 tenant complaint. Those calls are over for 460 Main St. “One tenant told me she couldn’t believe how quiet it is,” Azar adds.

Work is about to start on a four-story, mixed-use sister building, also using ICF. For the Azars, ICF resilience serves everyone’s interests. “We offer the safest place in Maryland to live,” he says, offering to prove it.

To learn more about building with ICF, visit Build with Strength.